Shop opens in London

by Giles Turnbull

Passers-by were shocked to see a new shop open in London at the weekend.



The like of the store, which sells computers and software, has never been seen before in this sleepy city of only eight million, almost none of them computer owners or users.



... OK, enough sarcasm. Yep, Apple's new London store is open and for some it was an event worth camping outside in freezing temperatures to attend. For others, it was nothing more than, well, yet another computer store (let me assure non-Londoners reading this that the city has a plentiful supply of computer retailers).



As with so many Apple announcements, the media picked up on the buzz from the religious throng potential customers outside. People camping outside in the cold to buy computers (or even mystery goodie bags - I really can't see the appeal myself, but there you go) make for good photos, and media people like photos.



So with the crowds and the cameras, it became an Event rather than just a new shop opening. But what actually happened during this event? I can tell you.




  • People liked the glass stairs.

  • Everyone who camped out for the night got at least a T-shirt. If fact, some people who arrived as late as 9.30am that morning got a T-shirt. They only had to queue for three hours or so, and only got rained on once or twice.

  • The mood in the queue was said to be good-natured and companionable. Everybody was talking Mac stuff. I wonder if they compared Docks?

  • There were in-store mini-queues to see: the 20-inch G5 iMac; a pair of 30-inch displays set up as a single extended desktop; and Tiger.

  • A DJ played tunes. Very, very loud.

  • Amusingly, some staff from PC World (one the UK's largest mass-market retailers of computers; mostly x86, but some Mac stock available) stood outside in the cold, trying to hand out leaflets to bemused Apple acolytes.

  • Lots of computers and iPods were sold, although some people found the crowd something of a turn-off, and were heard walking out muttering: "I'll come back when it's quieter."



Were you there? Was it worth going?


4 Comments

simon_hibbs
2004-11-23 07:59:11
Funky glass stairs?
I find it ironic that while their store might be all glass, metal and colourful curvy design like their computers, their office building out near Heathrow is a rectangular beige box. And this in a business park full of funky glass buildings!


Simon Hibbs

bill@billgallop.com
2004-11-23 11:38:20
Funky glass stairs?
Apple used to have funky glass stairs at their Heathrow offices, back when they occupied two buildings instead of one and had a decent canteen, lol


I think they even went so far as to make female staff wear trousers instead of skirts because it was very easy to stand under the stairs and accidentally catch an indiscreet glimpse.

b_hanna
2004-11-25 12:39:45
Poor Critters - Freezing in the name of Steve Jobs
I spotted blue glowing apple symbols in the darkness. At first I thought WOW London's homeless know something I don't. It felt like -25 out there. No glass staircase, no matter how revealing, is worth death by frozen toes. I heard that a lucky few got £700 worth of goodies. I saw a woman on the news report in tears, she got a bluetooth mouse!! I'd expect this behaviour at Forbidden Planet 'round the corner but not at Apple. Also I hear those iPhoto things were also available so it was an Apple 'all you can (afford to) eat' deal.
b_hanna
2004-11-25 12:40:39
Poor Critters - Freezing in the name of Steve Jobs
I spotted blue glowing apple symbols in the darkness. At first I thought WOW London's homeless know something I don't. It felt like -25 out there. No glass staircase, no matter how revealing, is worth death by frozen toes. I heard that a lucky few got £700 worth of goodies. I saw a woman on the news report in tears, she got a bluetooth mouse!! I'd expect this behaviour at Forbidden Planet 'round the corner but not at Apple. Also I hear those iPhoto things were also available so it was an Apple 'all you can (afford to) eat' deal.